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Welcome to the FGC Weekly Roundup which will feature the latest in the tournament scene, all sorts of hype and a fair amount of salt too.This past weekend saw some of the biggest names in the fighting game scene (in North America anyway)jet over to sunny San Diego, CA for West Coast Warzone. The results were, well, interesting to say the least. The short run for Street Fighter V in tournament play has already been quite interesting and each passing weekend has meant that most of the upper crust of players have been further refining their technique. 

That is until Grand Finals where the venerable PR-Balrog (sponsored by Evil Geniuses) squared off against Chris Tatarian. PR-Balrog’s highly offensive approach with Necalli (then again there’s not really any other way to play him) against the blitzkrieg fire of Chris T’s Ken. It was, as commentary duo of Mike Ross and EG|kBrad noted, a “knockdown and drag out fight with zero blocking.” It was all fireworks and little in the way of smart plays at times. It was a fight that not only fit the characters well but also served as a reminder: America still has some ground to make up if they want to compete with the likes of Japan’s elite, Korea’s best and other global warriors in the scene.

YP’s Filipinoman, who had earlier bested Justin Wong’s seemingly assured Karin dominance, then continued his rushdown assault with Chun-Li. He, before the finishing move animation completed, hopped up and mimicked the Interpol agent’s lightning legs. 

It was strange and one of those moments that can only happen in the FGC. It resulted in, perhaps, the best highlight from the entire tournament as his opponent,  ChrisG, reacted accordingly. 

West Coast Warzone also featured BE|KaneBlueRiver as he defeated ChrisG in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Grand Finals. He has been on the warpath ever since EVO 2015 (which he won in convincing fashion) and, likely, will be on that main stage again come this July. 

Prepare For Hype

This coming weekend (April 23rd-25th) has a stacked slate of tournament events that should sate any Street Fighter enthusiast’s needs. Now that’s hobby grade!

  • PAX Arena – This weekend at PAX East a two-day Street Fighter Invitational will take place featuring the likes of EG|Ricki Ortiz, Liquid|NuckleDu, EG|K-Brad, Marn, TS|Arturo Sanchez, LI Joe, FlashMetroid and TA|Moons. DJ Steve Aoki will also be in attendance? The invitational event will be streamed over at PAX Arena.
  • Red Bull Kumite 2016 – Last year Red Bull sponsored an event pitting 16 of the greatest players in the world against each other. It was an extremely hype affair that featured numerous Match of the Year contenders namely Bonchan v Tokido that was the stuff of legend. 2016 should be no exception with some of the folks coming out to throw down. The killers lined up for RBK 2016: Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, Luffy, Alioune, Keoma, Xian, Tokido, Momochi, Justin Wong, Snake Eyez, Bonchan, Poongko, Kazunoko, Infiltration, GamerBee. The lat two spots this year will go to those who make it through the 256 players in a last chance bracket on Saturday (April 23rd). All the action can be found at Red Bull Kumite Live. NOTE: Local time for the event is CET so adjust for your time zone accordingly.
  • Texas Showdown – This growing tournament, located in Houston, also happens to be a Capcom Pro Tour ranking event with a chance for redemption from last week’s West Coast Warzone runner-up for EG| PR-Balrog. Other notables include 801Strider, Brenttiscool, Glty and more. All the action starts this Friday and continues all through Sunday and can be watched at LevelUpLive and PandaXGaming. The full schedule can be found here.

The Return of Guile

Capcom dropped a bombshell earlier this week with the character info, rundown, and trailer for everyone’s favorite charge character, Guile. The hair is a big as ever, and he even has a new move to boot. The crouch-walk to charge up a Flash-Kick is an interesting addition, and it makes him the game’s first full charge character. 

I’m already crying tears of red, white, blue and freedom over this. I think his design is quite solid all-around, and some of the early glimpses of his alternate colors and costumes look on-point. Players will even get the return of Guile’s classic air force base stage from SFII as well. The inclusion of Guile, his stage and 150% more Freedom to the game will also include further balance changes, an actual rage-quitting system and further improvements to matchmaking according to the official Capcom Unity posting.

Let’s hope that this supposed “rage-quitting” system will include longer and longer lockout times for players who frequently disconnect. A small 5-10 minute window of time where you can’t play isn’t exactly a fitting punishment for those who’ve abused the system already with their angry exits. 

Revelator’s Overview A Revelation

The Overview trailer, per Arc System Works, runs down the new features coming to Guilty Gear XRD: RevelatorA few of the highlights a new Story Mode, a Library mode to view previous events from other Guilty Gear titles, Stylish Mode (which adds a new SP button and is meant for those who can’t combo), an expanded Tutorial Mode and an entirely revamped Lobby System. It even includes soccer and fishing for folks who are waiting for their turn in multiplayer lobbies to pass the time.  The game will also include returning XX series characters such as Johnny, Dizzy and Jam Kuradoberi along with new entrants like Jack-O and Kum Haehyun. Anime fighters definitely have their niche within the community but it appears that Arc System Works is working quite hard to make them far more accessible than in the past with the expanded Tutorial Mode and Story Mode. Guilty Gear XRD: Revelator will release in Japan on May 26 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 with a June 7th launch in North America and the 10th of June for Europe.

Last Blade 2: A Lost Classic

I wanted to close this week with some interesting news from SNK Playmore. If you follow fighting games then you know SNK. They didn’t just make King of Fighters, though, and created a number of really unique games with innovative mechanics and diverse casts of characters. A shining example of that can be found with The Last Blade 2.

The sequel to the already great Last Blade not only improved upon a winning formula but upped the ante with a larger roster, more refined story beats and better gameplay all around. I remember sinking some hours into this game way back when at a friend’s house on his Neo Geo. The game will feature Cross Buy and Cross Play support for both the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita and has local and online multiplayer available. This is a lesser known game, for sure, but it has a special place in the hearts of many fighting game fans for a reason. It’s one of the great ones from SNK. Now can we please have a restored/pixel perfect version of King of Fighters 98 please? That’s it for this week’s edition of FGC Weekly Roundup. We’ll be back next week with the latest in the fighting game community news, hype and salt. 

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Jeff Pannell

Staff Writer

Defender of waifus. Fighting game aficionado. Nearly 100% anime nonsense at this point. IT Specialist for the US Government by day but by night? JRPG/MMORPG addicted, constantly grinding in the lab to get better at Street Fighter and spending his time thinking critically about the medium he adores so.